In its contribution to the socio-economic development, the Chamber started its Rural Development Programme in the year 1978 in the cyclone prone and economically backward areas at South 24 Parganas in Rajarampur Anchal and Kulpi Block. Due to the salinity problem in the area at that time, only single crop of traditional variety of paddy was cultivated. There were no other worthwhile income generating activities for the local population. The socio-economic of the people of the area has been uplifted by adoption of innovative irrigation, modern agricultural technology and practices by the Chamber in the areas. Cultivation of high yielding variety of paddy in 25 acres of land initially in 1979 has been extended to 40,000 acres in 600 villages of 10 adjacent Blocks. The Chamber persuaded the farmers to cultivate high yielding, hybrid vegetables like tomato extensively. The Chamber also imported one lakh seedlings from South India and distributed the same to a large number of farmers through associated organisations in the rural areas. Cultivation of vanilla, pepper and banana was also encouraged. In fostering the development of agriculture, the Chamber received assistance and support from BCKV, Horticulture Board, Coconut Development Board, Spices Board and other similar organisations.

Motivated by the progress, a metal road has been laid by the State PWD and CAPART has financed construction of village roads. West Bengal State Electricity Board has arranged electrification in the villages which helped improve quality of the village life.

In healthcare front, the project took up construction of low-cost toilets for a large number of families with the help of UNICEF, sinking of tube wells for drinking water and free Homeopathic medical facilities. An Eye Hospital has also been set up in the area for outdoor treatment and eye operation regularly.

The Federation of Chambers of Commerce & Industry conferred an award to the Chamber in recognition of the valuable contribution made in the field of rural development.

The project received commendation from far and wide.



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